Review Summary: Matrimony is love gone wrong, but hey... what else is new?
If one were to try to be hyper-literate, one could easily compare the genre of first-wave screamo to a library. One can find pleasurable reads inside, or they can stumble across some less than adequate finds. While Killie's Offering A Sacrifice That Presents And Indicates A Mournful Resentment Of Today
can be compared to that untouched copy of Anna Karenina, Loma Prieta's EP, Matrimony
is like that completely vandalized copy of Left Behind: A Novel Of Earth's Last Days. But why exactly should this release be compared to such an abhorrent literary work?
Well, first off, the vocal work is nothing groundbreaking. Underneath all of that musicianship is a slew of evident screams that show no qualms with genericism. Howling is not a virgin concept to first-wave screamo; bands like Saetia used this vocal technique to magnify the emotional impact of their tracks whilst Usurp Synapse used the technique to intensify their tracks. Loma Prieta's purpose when utilizing said howls is not so crystal-clear. When the music is especially corrosive and boisterous, the howls are apposite; however, even when the technique is not called for, howls are still innumerable. Occasionally, the seldom sects of serenity shine when the vocalist decides his contributions aren't necessary. Such can be found at the end of “Wilmer Valderrama (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Had Two Wives)” when the vocalist makes such decision. The music is far more enjoyable when such reprieve comes to remedy the sloven chaos.
Loma Prieta are intense, and they make no bones about it. Besides the almost incessant, abrasive displays of howling, dissonance is evident throughout this four -and-a-half minute whirlwind of discordance. While this matches the vocals well when the vocalist is shouting away, occasionally it wears. Not only that, but the memorability factor is effected by both the vocals and the musicianship. The stagnancy of the tracks causes any memorable section of the song to be lost in this cesspool of organic, intense material. In fact, the most memorable element of the aural assault is the dreadful lyrical content.
In Loma Prieta's respective field of music, saying that the lyrics are perhaps just a little bit too reminiscent of “woe-is-me”-style poetry is not unexpected. It is simply part of the first-wave emo aesthetic, and the bands of the genre are in no way trying to hide this fact. For the most part, it does not detract from the music, but dear God there is a line that Loma Prieta have crossed on this EP. Boasting passages like, “I read you wrong;/we're wed but we're wedded wrong” and “let's get a do-over/'cause Dan Johnson's always wrong;/it's never solved with two rights.” this and the other track's lyrical content show how apt the EP's title, Matrimony
, is, for both songs take a rather emotional approach to romance. However, Matrimony
has done nothing to earn my adoration.
The oftentimes intrusive and inappropriate vocalization displayed on this EP is grating and repetitive. The abrasive nature of this EP is not only monotonous, but unpleasant to listen to without a change of pace. The lyrics are poorly written, and not only that, but the subject matter is nothing new or particularly interesting. If one were to see all of these qualities in a woman, one would assume this woman to be a needy, sassy, bland woman, who, if taken home, is not worth spending the night with. The same can be said for this EP, as it warrants two or three listens and nothing more.